I stopped by my former place of work today after the traditional Friday Lunch with Dad and Bro. It felt like coming home. Oh, I miss it. Once again, my former boss told me that any time I can come back I am more than welcome.
Oh, I wish.
For those of you who never knew or have forgotten, I used to work at a Day Center for senior citizens. It is a wonderful program where seniors who would otherwise be home alone and isolated or forced into assisted living or a nursing home can come for as many days a week as they need or want. The Center provides transportation to and from the Center, and help with Dr. visits. They offer care services, such as baths and medication assistance. The most important part, though, is the social interaction. It is widely believed that many of our seniors suffer from horrible loneliness and depression. The Day Center provides a place where they can meet other seniors from the area, play games, go on outings, and generally be catered to in any way they want.
It was, quite simply, the most rewarding job I ever had. Even when the job was at it's most hectic, it's most frustrating, I knew every day when I came home that I had done something really positive with my day. The seniors who attended the Day Center became my friends and family. They would teach me new hobbies, tell stories of what it was like growing up for them, and generally share their perspective on life. My co-workers were all amazing and amazingly dedicated to the work we were doing.
However, being what it is, the job doesn't pay well. The hours are iffy, since they staff based on census. If several seniors don't show up on any given day, someone has to go home. Needless to say, that can do some damage to your paycheck. With kids and bills, I just can't let my paycheck be so flexible.
Every time I go back to visit, it is so hard to leave. My former boss has told me that any time I want to come back I am more than welcome, and that helps some. When I visit, everyone seems so happy to see me, and I fall back into the rhythm of working there. It is as if I never left.
I keep telling Mr. Barefoot to win the lottery. When I don't have to worry about the $$ so much, I will go running back to my Day Center and never leave.